Commissioning of Twin Tunnels Marks Completion of Seymour-Capilano Filtration Project

 After more than ten years of underground and surface construction, Twin Tunnels beneath Grouse Mountain and Mount Fromme on the North Shore are now commissioned, marking the completion of the $820-million Seymour-Capilano Filtration Project. Watch the video to witness some of the notable events and construction milestones for this massive project.

This major infrastructure project allows water from the Capilano Reservoir to be carried through one tunnel for treatment at the Seymour-Capilano Filtration Plant and carried back through the other tunnel to the Capilano system for distribution.

Metro Vancouver Board Chair Greg Moore

“Completion of this system-wide water enhancement project not only represents over 10 years of physical work, it represents vision and planning, ingenuity, and collaboration,” said Greg Moore, Chair of Metro Vancouver’s Board of Directors. “These massive Twin Tunnels, constructed below where we are standing, will ensure an abundant supply of safe, world class drinking water for future generations in Metro Vancouver.”

The Twin Tunnels are a component of the Seymour-Capilano Filtration Project, and are 3.8 metres in diameter, 7.1 kilometres long, and 160 to 640 metres below ground level running beneath the North Shore mountains. As the Filtration Plant is at a higher elevation than the Capilano Reservoir, excess pressure is available from the returning treated water, for which an energy recovery system has been created. The recovered energy will partially offset the power requirements for the new Capilano Raw Water Pump Station.

Commissioning Event

The Capilano Reservoir provided the backdrop to the commissioning announcement.

Four Key Components to Project

The components of the Seymour-Capilano Water Filtration Project  are:

  • The Raw Water Pump Station,
  • Energy Recovery Facility, and Break Head Tank adjacent to the Capilano Reservoir.
  • The Seymour-Capilano Filtration Plant located in the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve.
  • Twin Tunnels that carry raw water from the Capilano Reservoir to the Seymour-Capilano Filtration Plant, and the treated water back for distribution in the Capilano system.
tunnels cross section

click image for full-size version

“Our region has some of the best drinking water in North America and the world,” said Darrell Mussatto, Chair of Metro Vancouver’s Utilities Committee and Mayor, City of North Vancouver. “Completion of this complex, state-of-the-art project will ensure that remains true into the future. It has been a monumental undertaking, and I congratulate all those who have made it possible.”

For several years, many residents and businesses in the District of North Vancouver have been working with Metro Vancouver to mitigate construction-related impacts.

Project Engineer Adeline Chin

Senior Project Engineer Adeline Chin explains elements of the project to media and VIPs

“I would like to thank residents and members of the Community Monitoring Advisory Committee who put so much volunteer time into ensuring the community’s needs were considered,” said Richard Walton, Chair of Metro Vancouver’s Regional Planning Committee and Mayor, District of North Vancouver.

“Residents and businesses throughout Metro Vancouver receive their drinking water from the Capilano Reservoir, and this amazing infrastructure project will help us to provide more water year-round, and to further protect our water supply in the case of emergencies,” he added.

Health Officer notes high quality of Metro drinking water

Dr. Patricia Daly, Chief Medical Health Officer, Vancouver Coastal Health, congratulated Metro Vancouver for its consistent attention to the quality of drinking water in our region.

“The completion of this project, and Metro Vancouver’s consistent attention to ensure our region has clean, safe drinking water, is to be commended,” said Daly. “Metro Vancouver drinking water meets or exceeds the standards set by the provincial and federal governments, and everyone who lives in and visits our region can feel confident they are drinking high-quality water.”

Metro Board directors and VIPs toast completion of the Twin Tunnels project.

Metro Board directors and VIPs toast completion of the Twin Tunnels project, with fresh, filtered water.

Metro Vancouver and its member municipalities are committed to providing clean, safe drinking water to residents and businesses of the Lower Mainland at a reasonable cost. By ensuring the sustainable use of water, the region can continue to grow and prosper while maintaining our quality of life and natural environment.

“Having clean, safe drinking water is essential to human life, and Metro Vancouver takes its role and responsibilities in providing this natural resource to our residents and businesses very seriously,” said Chair Moore. “Most of the time we turn on the tap and take for granted that the water we will drink is safe and healthy. Celebrations like today’s remind us of the work and commitment involved in providing first class drinking water to a growing region.”

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